Reds 6, Braves 2

ESPN – Braves vs. Reds – Box Score – June 01, 2008

I think I prefer it when we get the blowout wins.

The Braves sucked today. Tim Hudson was good enough, I guess, but allowed two more homers (this is getting worrisome) and trailed 3-0 after three. Meanwhile, the Braves didn’t have a baserunner until Francoeur walked (!) in the fifth, and didn’t have a hit until a leadoff bunt single by Blanco in the sixth, which no doubt outraged Dusty. They had one window where it looked like they would make a game of it. Teixeira and McCann hit back-to-back homers with one out in the seventh to cut it to 3-2, and then Francoeur doubled off the wall. But Norton popped out and Blanco’s flare stayed up for the inhuman Jay Bruce, and that was that.

Then Hudson’s hamstring cramped up or was pulled, depending upon whom you believe (actually, a cramp in mid-motion could lead to a slight pull) in mid-pitch, which was singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Ring came in and got an out when the next guy bunted, but Bobby couldn’t leave well enough alone and brought in Boyer. Escobar, who had a horrible series and really needs to get out of the leadoff spot (check out these splits) committed a throwing error, then another bunt, and then a single, and then Boyer left the game with a knee injury with the score 5-2. Carlyle finally pitched, and gave up a hit to make it 6-2.

Chipper was 0-4 and is hitting .405. The whole game was just terrible.

149 thoughts on “Reds 6, Braves 2”

  1. i was half expecting Gotay to hit a 3-run homerun there at the end so we could lose by one run

  2. What’s new? More one run losses, more injuries. I don’t understand the negativity here.

  3. Maybe it’s the lack of African-Americans on the team….I know, I know. Well there has to be some damn reason. Maybe they should just call up BJones and see what happens. LOL

  4. Couple of things:

    First, screw Dusty Baker if he was upset by that. If we were down by 10 with two outs in the ninth and Chipper Jones were at the plate, I would be in favor of Chipper bunting for a base hit. In fact, I wish Eddie Perez would have done that in the last AB of Randy Johnson’s perfect game just to see what would’ve happened (not that he would’ve been able to beat it out). It’s not our job to facilitate your freaking no-hitter. Get over it.

    Secondly, I really don’t get what the problem with Yunel is. He seemed to be working the count and not swinging at every first pitch when he was betting second. It’s not like Kelly Johnson, who isn’t really a leadoff type. Escobar seemed to be a leadoff type, but now that he’s batting leadoff is just swinging at every first pitch for no apparent reason. Perhaps Terry Pendleton should hit him over the head with a 2×4. Blanco isn’t the answer, either BTW. He still strikes out way too often. Unless Josh Anderson turns out to be a good leadoff-type hitter (and we’re not gonna know unless we freaking play him instead of the backup infielder!!!), Escobar is definitely the best choice at leadoff from what I can see. He just needs to stop playing like an idiot.

  5. Hey Ryan C, come on over and tell us how awesome this team is and that everything is just F-I-N-E.

    As I said, this is about a 4-5 games under .500 team at the end of the season, not sniffing the Playoffs.

  6. So, we don’t have a leadoff hitter, 2-hole hitter, 5th starter, or closer. We don’t manufacture runs, hit for much power, or in the clutch. 2 of our starting outfielders are Greg Norton and Gregor Blanco, plus we have Francoeur who has a good game once a week. Our backup catcher is Corky Miller, hitting worse than most pitchers.
    I wonder why we’re not any good.

  7. Not so good news on Boyer: apparently he’s having an MRI on his knee tomorrow. Also, apparently that argument between McCann and Hairston was actually about that bunt single to break up the no-hitter, this according to the postgame show on SportSouth.

  8. I’m with Nick. If Baker has a problem with someone bunting in the sixth inning of a 3-run game, he needs to get a freaking clue. They’re trying to win baseball games; screw his no-hitter. I hate this “you can’t bunt if the dude has a no-hitter” bullcrap. Ben Davis (I think) took so much crap when he broke up that no-hitter. I’m sorry, but you have to earn a no-hitter, and if you can’t field a bunt, then boohoo.

    Go Braves.

  9. To be fair, I hadn’t seen Dusty complain when I wrote that, and I still haven’t — but we do know that his team did complain about the bunt, and it’s in character for him to do so. I never agreed with the criticism of Davis, and it’s even less apt in this case, because bunting is a legitimate part of Blanco’s game.

  10. Screw Baker, its the 6th inning. If it were the top of the ninth, different story. Its baseball, get a clue Dusty.

  11. yes chief, we suck. i suck for saying we dont suck. you rule for saying we suck. of course you’re going to SOUND right when things are going as bad as they are right now. i just dont understand your point of continually saying the same thing over and over again. you basically say the same thing every post and it gets old.

    “As I said, this is about a 4-5 games under .500 team at the end of the season, not sniffing the Playoffs.”

    as of being 4-5 games below .500 at the end of the season, i will take that bet.

  12. The Ben Davis play exposed one of the most ridiculous “unwritten rules” in the game — basically that, if you’re getting your ass kicked, you’re supposed to just sit back and take it. Please.

    I’d already given up on today’s game by the time the bunt happened, but if that’s what got them upset, screw em.

  13. With the extreme home & road records, the Braves are looking like one of those bully NBA teams.

    The Reds announcers—who are schmucks BTW & reminded me why I usually don’t pay attention—made it sound like the Hairston/McCann flap was about Hairston taking his sweet ol’ time getting into the box. Guess McCann was getting Milwaukee flashbacks.

    Of course, in the old days, they would’ve buzzed the kid under his chin & made him take a seat. But he’s not exactly Blaine “The Barber” Boyer. He looks more like Howdie Doodie.

    Hope he & Huddy are OK.

  14. Wow. Of all the days I pick to attend my ONE Braves game of the year. It was painful to sit and watch. Although it was a tremendous day for a ball game.

  15. Just ran across this tidbit at BP:

    “The Indians’ David Dellucci, Jamey Carroll, and Grady Sizemore pulled off a triple steal on Tuesday against the White Sox, the first one since the Braves’ Gerald Perry, Ken Oberkfell and Ron Gant performed the feat on October 1, 1987 against the Astros.”

  16. Remy,
    Poor guy. Great artist, but a really sad story. Bi-polar disorder, adult-onset epilepsy. Lots of anti-depressent drugs. Messy relationships.

    But, FWIW, myth or no myth, Joy Division’s music really does stand the test of time. Go listen to “Atmosphere.” Just chills.

    Dawgs are hanging on, 5-0 vs. Tech, bottom 5th. A game tomorrow night would be fun.

  17. It sure is nice to see Chief Nocahoma is a true fan who stands by his team. At least Ryan C doesn’t throw them to the wolves when they are bad. Get a clue man.

  18. From Tim Hudson:

    “We faced a guy who can’t stop backing up third base when he’s facing other teams, and then he goes out there and has a no-hitter into the sixth against us.”


  19. It is weird how we beat up aces such as Brandon Webb and Johan Santana, but make Doug Davis and the like look like the Cy-Young winners. Don’t worry, we will go 6-1 on this next homestand, just in time for us to get our hopes up before we suck on the road

  20. The offense has been more maddening than anything this season. I was way more concerned with our bullpen, but thats been mostly a plus, even with all our bad luck with injuries.

    So I’ll throw this out for discussion, are we buyers or sellers? Do we go for a bat or two or arms?

  21. ricflair,

    I can support them, while freely acknowledging that this team isn’t very good and its not just injuries. It’s poorly constructed with some good/great high end talent and a bunch of useless spare parts.

    It’s called objectivity.

  22. That Hudson quote is not only out of character for him, it’s out of character for the Braves. There was the Chipper/Smoltz thing last year, but usually comments like that are not heard coming form the Braves clubhouse.

    I hope this doesn’t mean this can’t-win-on-the-road stuff is starting to divide what is usually a tight Braves clubhouse (to the press, anyway).

  23. Whatever kind of smacks of I’m rubber you’re glue or nah, nahny boo boo.

    Would you care to debate the roster construction, the plethora of Greg Nortons, Josh Andersons and Corky Millers or would you just rather “hope” they miraculously become a great team because you are a dedicated fan?

    No flame, but there’s a difference between being a fan and a huge homer.

  24. Consider the run support Huddy got in his last two games, I think he has the right to say that…but yeah, it’s not common to hear a Braves pitcher talks like that…however, I think we can all agree with him.

  25. How could anyone else do any better? Our talent is down. Bobby has his moments of sheer lunacy, but look at our outfield. Look at our backup catcher. We’re pretty talented 1-7 or so, but then it drops WAY down.

  26. I think we have too many role players roaming the outfield. Our only ‘big name’ outfielder (Frenchy) is far too inconsistent to depend on.

    I said it over and over, this team needs to be broken up or we will remain in .500 land (or worse). The stats over the past 3 years backs that up.

  27. chief,
    actually, there can’t be a plethora of greg norton’s on the team unless there was actually another guy called greg norton on the team. greg norton, corky miller, and josh anderson are all utility guys who get paid next to nothing. if that’s your argument, then it’s a weak one.

    there’s also a difference between being a hopeless negative and a jerk, and the “i told you so” mentality after every loss is why you rub me the wrong way. there are a few others that i have called out on this board for just dwelling on the bad and NEVER recalling the good, but at least they say something different.

    the roster construction is always debatable for every team, especially a team with bobby as manager. our regulars, offensively, can hang with any team if, and when, they become consistent. our starters, when healthy, can match up with any team. our bullpen is about to get it’s 2nd and 3rd booster shots in the form of smoltz and gonzalez. this team’s roster construction is not bad, and the bench is better than last year. remember, blanco, when kotsay and diaz are back, is part of that bench.

    gotay will probably be gone when prado returns, giving us a bench of infante, norton, blanco, miller, and prado.

    if healthy, the roster might look like this come mid-june:




    to me, that is pretty solid. where’s the holes chief?

  28. I gotta agree with ryno there: there is reason to be optimistic in the midst of all that is going on right now.

    I find it ironic that Chief Nocahoma was the face of our franchise back in the ’80s when we were absolutely horrible. Maybe he’s stuck in a time-warp…

  29. Brad, that’s what’s so crazy about this team. You can win with a sub-par outfield and a crappy back-up catcher when your infield is as jacked as ours.

    This team is really enigmatic for me. I don’t get them. We’re trying to find holes in our team, but… I can’t find big enough holes. Yes, our outfield is bad. Our back-up catcher is atrocious. Those are things you can get over if you’re getting good INF offense and good pitching. We’re getting those things, and yet things just aren’t taking off.

    Considering how well Tampa Bay is doing in the clutch, maybe we should go grab Gabe Gross and Cliff Floyd. Those guys are getting it done down in St. Pete. Man, I wish I was still down there.

  30. to me, that is pretty solid. where’s the holes chief?

    The outfield. The rotation. The bullpen. The fact that the pitching has held up amazingly well and we are still .500 is an ugly sign. Every team has injuries. Playing the “If only we were healthy card” is an annoying waste of time.

    I refuse to take take the team seriously when it punts the outfield.

  31. The outfield isn’t sub-par, it’s an abomination. Easily the worst in the NL.

    I like that Ryan and Rob are confident with a 2-3-4 of Jurjjens (a 22 year old rookie), Glavine (a 42 year old 6 inning pitcher), and Campillo (a 29 year old junkballer whose been a good pitcher for all of 36 innings).

    You have to be some kind of superpowered mutant homer to not have issues with our rotation.

  32. I have in the past proposed an excellent solution that not only solves our outfield power problem, our inability to take pitches, work counts and draw walks but also fixes our team’s nearly 100% skin albedo issue . Also, it would solve the closer controversy (smoltz or soriano, in favor of soriano) and would also put and end to the question of “when will smoltz finally retire?”. Also, thats enough alsos.

  33. Then I have come for your leader, Jeremy.

    Look, the rotation’s been pretty good. I’d have more issues if they were actually doing poorly.

    Will it sustain? It’s hard to believe that, although I’d believe more in Jair than Campillo.

    But as long as I’m rooting for this team, I’ll be happy when they do well—whether they’re proving me/us wrong or not.

  34. I like Hudson’s comment; all of the Braves’ pitchers should express how pissed off they likely are. The Braves’ hitters suck, and I hope they take Hudson’s comment to heart. After Smoltz indirectly criticized Chipper’s commitment last season, Chipper miraculously remained nearly injury-free for the rest of the season and the beginning of this season.

    If the Braves’ hitters aren’t driven to win, then maybe they’ll be driven to avoid pissing off their teammates.

  35. But as long as I’m rooting for this team, I’ll be happy when they do well—whether they’re proving me/us wrong or not.

    Same here.

  36. I have a suggestion that addresses the Braves’ lack of outfield production and potential rotation depth issues: Move Francoeur into the rotation and put Mike Hampton in right field. Maybe Hampton’s left pectoral muscle, which so impairs his pitching motion, wouldn’t cause him such excruciating, torturous pain during hitting and fielding.

  37. The roster is fine. Look at the team ERA, run differential, etc. Obviously we could use a good starting pitcher to replace Smoltz in the rotation and Wren is looking for that. According to Ken Rosenthal Wren inquired about Blanton but wasn’t willing to pay Beane’s price. I think when a team consistently loses one run games, road games, extra inning games, etc. that is obviously a coaching problem. Trouble is, I don’t think the Braves can fire Bobby without destroying the clubhouse chemistry and suffering a major PR nightmare. But Bobby was never good with strategy anyway. I really think we should just shake up the coaching staff. Fire Pendleton, McDowell and Cadahia. Hire Don Baylor, Leo Mazzone and maybe promote Eddie Perez to bench coach. Bring up some random minor league coach to replace Perez as the bullpen coach. Continue looking for a good pitcher, hold out for a quality, young, non free agent with ace potential like Bonderman, Cabrera, Penny, etc. We have prospects to spare. If all else fails pay a small price to bring Maddux back at the trade deadline.

  38. Watching Jay Bruce makes me wish the Braves had a kid like that who could excite some games and bring some enthusiasm. The Braves don’t seem passionate to me right now.

  39. Also, I found some positive data for everyone to mull over:

    The Braves are 6-0 in 2-run games, and 4-0 in 7-run games!

  40. “I like that Ryan and Rob are confident with a 2-3-4 of Jurjjens (a 22 year old rookie), Glavine (a 42 year old 6 inning pitcher), and Campillo (a 29 year old junkballer whose been a good pitcher for all of 36 innings).

    You have to be some kind of superpowered mutant homer to not have issues with our rotation.”

    look at the stats jeremy. starting pitching has not been our problem. i’m not much of a stathead, but i know that a combined starting pitching era through 50+ at 3.50 is getting it done. once again, holes? i’ll give the outfield situation, for now…..

    “The outfield. The rotation. The bullpen. The fact that the pitching has held up amazingly well and we are still .500 is an ugly sign. Every team has injuries. Playing the “If only we were healthy card” is an annoying waste of time.”

    and you’re playing the “if only they would start sucking” game. our bullpen and rotation have held up. the roster that i discussed is only far fetched if diaz doesnt return quickly. notice i said mid-june.

    and if you still think its a waste of time, ignore me. you seem to be pretty good at ignoring pieces of our team that’s been producing.

  41. I think Hudson’s comments are a side effect of us not having a “kick down the walls you guys suck” guy in the clubhouse. What’s going on with our hitting on the road isn’t physical, it’s mental and a lack of will. Somebody should be in the clubhouse taking guys to task and shouldn’t give a damn what the other guys say about that not being professional or that not being the way the Braves do things. We’ve had this laid back attitude for too long, we need to kick the tires and light the fires.

  42. OPS+ of current Braves starting lineup

    Chipper 198
    McCann 153
    Johnson 124
    Teixiera 114
    Norton 112 (including Seattle stats)
    Blanco 101
    Escobar 100
    Francoeur 92

  43. Hopefully Reyes will give us a boost in the rotation, starting today. He’s almost averaging a strikeout an inning.

  44. Every time I see any kind of quote from Pendelton about the player’s batting it seems to revolve around hitting mechanics. Of course I can’t say for sure but it seems, based on external evidence, that Pendelton does little, if any, coaching of mental approach at the plate and situational hitting. Right now this looks to me like the biggest “hole” in our game. I want a hitting coach who is reminding every batter, at every plate appearance, what the situation is and what the best approach for that player might be. I know we are talking about major league players who should know this stuff by now but it is obvious they are forgetting their fundamentals in the fog of pressure they self-impose while on the road.

  45. robert,
    and you’re playing the “if only they would start sucking” game.

    Correct. It’s called being realistic. Some parts of this team have overperformed and will come back to earth. Chipper’s not going to hit .400. Until he disappeared, Kotsay was pretty much doing his best case scenario. The pitching has been better than any projection anywhere. And of course there is Campillo. It’s fanboy to think this stuff is going to continue, our injured players will get better and start producing, and we will be super terrific.

    Much more likely is that some of our luck components will improve, but some of the stuff I mentioned above will decline and we will be right about where we are now. .500.

  46. We need to sign Barry Bonds and bat him 2nd in the order, right in front of Chipper and Teix. Basically we’d have at least a 1-0 lead in 25% of our games after the first inning if we did that. Then if he gets on base the second time around the order, pinch run for him with whoever plays left field for us regularly now.

  47. I don’t give a damn about their run differential, ERA, or anything. Rob Neyer is the only one that cares about their pythagorean record. All I know is what Bill Parcells says, you are what your record says you are. And the Braves record says they are a .500 team.

    I sort of like what Hudson said; who says that you have to have a lovey-dovey clubhouse to win. Look at the A’s and the Yankees in the 70s; both teams had pretty dysfunctional clubhouses but it didn’t seem to hurt their play. Maybe the Braves need a little conflict.

  48. Even more fuel to the Bondsfire Marc. Who could bring more dysfunction than Barry. Not only do we obtain Bond’s antileadership but we’d lose Smoltz’s leadership to insta-retirement.

  49. The midget would be cheaper but might actually create a bigger distraction than Bonds.

    I don’t have a problem with Huddy’s comments, but I can’t actually advocate a dysfunctional clubhouse.

  50. Is there any possibility the Braves could get Dunn? I know his defense is atrocious, but come on, we’re playing Norton in LF, and I can’t see Diaz returning to his 06 or 07 form this year.

  51. Dunn has a no-trade in effect; it lapses later on this year, but he can limit possibilities to ten teams, which certainly will all be teams likely to sign him to a long-term contract. Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, etc.

  52. I never said the Braves should strive for a dysfunctional clubhouse (and, in fact, the A’s/Yankees clubhouses obviously weren’t dysfunctional since the teams won.)I’m just saying that a little conflict doesn’t automatically mean that the team will fall apart. It didn’t seem to hurt them when Smoltz criticized Chipper. The Braves seem more concerned about maintaining an even keel in the clubhouse than they are about actually winning games. No one says you have to like everyone you play with just like you don’t have to like everyone you work with in an office. I’m not advocating signing a guy under indictment who at this point seems like he would be more trouble than he would be worth but the point is, I think the Braves should be worrying more about getting good players than about how the players get along in the clubhouse.

  53. It’s bad, but not the kind of bad these comments here suggest. The Braves are only 3.5 games back of first.

    But this road thing is looking more and more like it’s going to be a season-long thing. And the Braves simply will not be in the playoffs if they end the regular season 20+ games under .500 on the road.

    Also, from Ken Rosenthal:

    The Braves called the A’s about Joe Blanton but did not even come close to meeting Billy Beane’s price.

  54. The Braves seem more concerned about maintaining an even keel in the clubhouse than they are about actually winning games.

    Come on, Marc — you just described a team not worth rooting for. Just because we’ve historically maintained an even keel doesn’t mean that’s the paramount objective.

  55. People that are saying that the pitching staff can’t hold up with its current cast might be forgetting that Smoltz, Soriano, and Gonzalez should give the bullpen a big boost. (Granted, if they’re healthy, of course.) I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a trade for a veteran inning-eater to help the rotation down the stretch.

  56. And it’s not like all of the other teams in our division are worldbeaters. The only team that gives me legitimate concerns are the Phillies.

  57. But the problem late in games and on the road isn’t the bullpen, it’s the offense. Getting those guys back isn’t going to help Hibernation Mode or our lack of clutch hitting in close games.

  58. Idea: Acquire a Triple A outfielder who is having a strong season to help out in LF. It doesn’t have to be a high-ceiling guy or a high prospect, just someone who can give us close to league-average offense.

    Someone, like this 26 year old miscellaneous outfielder:

  59. They lost two games, yes. In one of them, the offense was completely shut down most of the game and the defense turned two double play balls into hits. In the other, they held onto a 7-6 lead for three innings before the Reds tied it. Hibernation Mode is a much bigger problem than the bullpen.

  60. So, which regression happens first? Our regression to normality on the road or at home? I can’t figure this team out. They look to be a superior team at home and a bunch of dogs on the road. That’s what frustrates me, they SHOW their ability at home, yet somehow, cannot translate it to winning games on the road.

    I spent the 80’s as a Braves fan, and I saw a lot of games lost like we’ve lost them away from the Ted. I just wish, for my blood pressure’s sake, that the team can get it sorted out and play like we know they’re capable of playing.

  61. Oh wait, the Braves would never get rid of Carlyle. They’ve showed him too much loyalty.

    My guess now is Boyer to the DL.

  62. My guess now is Boyer to the DL.

    Hasn’t that been the plan all along? It was supposed to be his arm that gave out, though….

  63. Idea: Acquire a Triple A outfielder who is having a strong season to help out in LF.

    So, just move Francoeur to left.

  64. I think it’s funny that people were bitching about the rotation/pen when we’ve go the top pitching staff ERA in the league. The OF sucks right now, but 2/3 of our starters are hurt, so… yeah.

    This team does not suck, and that’s exactly why it’s so damn frustrating to watch them lose more than 3 out of every 4 road games they play. The worst bit is that we’ve had a tougher home schedule! Most of our road games are against teams like the Nats and Pirates or .500 teams like the Brewers and Cinci. It’s just dumb to go 8-3 against the Mets, DBacks, and A’s only to drop 4 one-run games against the middle-of-the-NL-Central pack.

    And it’s gotta be even more frustrating for the actual players. Hudson’s comments are born out of frustration from losing two games on this infernal road trip where he pitched quite well, combined with the other 3 winable games we lost. Oh, that and he got hurt. I’m sure that didn’t make taking this crap any easier for Huddy.

    And he’s right. There’s no reason we shouldn’t have guy on against Cueto until the 5th. I quipped in the game thread that we should stop hitting the ball hard against him because every time we did that, it was either right at a defender or in a perfect place for Bruce to make a spectacular diving play. Frankly, yesterday was the type of game that in normal circumstances, you just think, “Well that was clearly one of the 50 we’re not winning” and move on. I mean, that’s what you do when everything is an “at ’em” ball and two pitchers get hurt in one inning where you simultaneously give up 3 runs in the most retarded fashion ever. Normally, you just shrug, say “that’s baseball” and move on after one like that.

    But when you’re in the middle of this whole road losing thing, it just looks and feels awful, and I’m not surprised at all that the frustration boiled over for someone.

  65. #76

    Seat Painter,

    I hear what you’re saying, but I think that this club is much more competitive than the teams the Braves fielded in the 1980s. And that’s exactly what makes this season so frustrating: In most every game they’ve lost, they’ve had a good chance to win.

  66. Although the Phils have not-so-quietly climbed to 8 games over .500, I haven’t given up. This team is a very weird one. They may have already given up enough games to cost them the season, but I have no doubt they’ll stay in the picture.

    Still, it’s hard not to root for the Rays. I’ve peeked in on them a few times with my MLB Extra Innings. The town doesn’t seem to be taking to them yet, but as long as their pitching holds up (esp. their much-improved bullpen) they should hang around.

    It’ll be amusing to see the AL WC race come down to meaningful games in The Bronx between the Yanks & Tampa. If the Yankees got beat out by Tampa, that might finally finish off old man Steinbrenner.

  67. Also, I didn’t see this above, but here are some things Carroll Rogers mentioned on the AJC blog:

    “did want to tell you guys that mccann was once again showing fire today, which i believed some appreciated on the blog last night. the reason he and hairston got into it in the seventh inning, jawing at each other at the plate, is because according to both mccann and blanco, hairston got on blanco for bunting for a base hit when cueto had a no-hitter going.

    blanco actually told me hairston said “we might hit you (with a pitch)” when he got to second base. so mccann was sticking up for blanco and rightly so. i know there are unwritten rules on these kinds of things but the braves were trying to win the game and bunts are part of blanco’s game. as mccann said “it’s not like i was up there trying to bunt.” now that would have been something! just thought i’d share that nugget.”


    “oh and before i go, thought i’d give chipper’s response when asked if the team should have some kind of closed-door meeting about this: “Getting mad doesn’t do anything. all that does is make people madder. Frustratrion level is at an all-time high. But fighting amongst ourselves and confronting people about their play is not the way to do it. it’s just going to make things worse.”

    So there’s that. Really a shame we don’t get to play them again. I’d love to see someone go in high against Hairston breaking up a double-play. What a dick.

  68. The problem with the Braves is the outfield and the leadoff spot. Now that Church is back and Beltran is hitting in New York, the Braves and Nationals easily have the worse outfields in the league.

    As far as the leadoff spot…Mets have Reyes, Phillies have Rollins and the Marlins have Ramirez…again the Braves are at the bottom.

    Huddy let off some steam and I like it. There is no reason for this team to be so damn sorry on the road. Here is something from good ole Ozzie Guillen:

    “There’s only one message I’m going to send … Just be ready because I expect movement Tuesday. I expect [GM]Kenny [Williams] to do something Tuesday, and if we don’t do anything Tuesday, there are going to be a lot of lineup changes. That’s all I’m going to say about the offense……..“It can be me. It can be [hitting coach] Greg Walker. It can be the players. It could be anybody. I’m sick and tired to watch this thing for a year and a half. I’m not protecting anybody anymore. [Bleep] it! If they can’t get it done, Kenny should find someone to get it done. That’s it. Another bad game. If we think we are going to win with the offense we have, we are full of [bleep]. I’m just being honest. I expect better from them, if they are in the lineup.’’

    Don’t you just love Ozzie Guillen….

  69. I don’t think the team sucks, but, again, you are what your record says you are. Until they prove otherwise, they are a .500 team. Half the games are on the road; you can’t isolate the road from the home and say look how good they are at home.

    Assuming that they have a decent homestand (not necessarily a given), the 12-game road trip might decide how the season is going to go.

  70. Everyone keeps mentioning the problem with the leadoff spot…why dont we start anderson in left or center and bat him first, hes the fastest guy on the team and can clearly hit for percentages

    “THANKS, BRUCE: As good as Bruce has been – hitting a cool .579 in his first five major league games – he gets to pay Josh Anderson a compliment while he’s at it. Bruce became the first major leaguer with at least 11 hits in his first 20 at-bats since Josh Anderson went 11-for-20 last September for the Astros. “

  71. I agree that you are what you’re record says you are, but the solution seems so simple, easy and obvious… get some better coaches in here.

  72. You mean…players?

    MLB is not college football. Nobody complains about winning teams acting professional, only losing teams that “show no fire.”

    For the record, IMO “showing fire” is playing to the fans. It doesn’t help you win games.

  73. I also agree that you are what your record says you are — my continued optimism is based on the idea that, going forward, we will be what our runs scored and runs allowed say we are. It’s the Sansho1 Corollary to the Bill Parcells Theorem.

  74. Man, just move Blanco to leadoff spot. Hit Yunel 2nd. Move McCann to 5th spot (stop switching him and Frenchy depending on the starter). Hit KJ behind McCann. Hit Frenchy behind KJ. There ya go. That should work.


  75. What part of the roster can you realistically upgrade significantly besides the rotation and maybe left field? Our infield is set. Tex, KJ, Yunel and Chipper. Our catcher is an all star. McCann. The outfield is not great, but Kotsay is good in center and Blanco is a good replacement in the meantime. Francouer needs a HITTING COACH. Left field is fine when its Blanco or Diaz. Norton is an ok short term replacement. Brandon Jones is a good player that we can call up if all else fails. Our bench is about as good as you can ask for. Norton, Infante, Gotay, Diaz, but yeah we need a better back up catcher. We can fix that by calling up Sammons. The bullpen is about to get Smoltz and Gonzalez back. add them to a bullpen that already performing well with Soriano, Boyer, Ohman, Acosta, Ring, Bennett, Carlyle, Stockman… We have internal solutions. The rotation needs an upgrade without question, but Huddy is great at the top and Jurrjens and Glavine are good at 3-4. Guys like Reyes, Campillo, Bennett and James is what every time relies on for a 5th starter. That means we need one good quality starter for the top of the rotation. Wren is looking into getting us one of those. The coaching staff; however, sucks. Bring back Don Baylor and Leo Mazzone and get a bench coach that can advise Bobby on strategy.

  76. I’m on the Rays bandwagon. Their players are fun to have in Fantasy baseball leagues.

    Also, if you’re looking for a baseball team to root for with the Braves rejecting our advances how about Michigan baseball. The SEC of the Big Ten

  77. I don’t think good managing wins you many games in baseball, but I think bad managing definitely loses you games. Excellent managing puts your players in the best possible position to execute and win, and then they have to execute. Bad managing puts your players in a position where they are less likely to effectively execute. Thats how I see baseball managing. Not really much different from any other kind of coaching really. Bobby Cox does not manage in a way that maximizes our players’ likelihood of success in any given situation.

  78. If Campillo continues that then that’s great, but I’m not going to count on it.

  79. #98 – So are you of the opinion that Bobby lost “it” somewhere along the way? Or that he never had it, andthe team won all those divisions in spite of Bobby?

  80. I agree with Joshua about the lineup…and also with Reaganman…

    As someone pointed out about the Rays…after having #1 picks for so long…shouldn’t you be good eventually? With that said…I love the Rays. A young and EXCITING team. I think that’s what’s missing from the Braves…excitement. And I think speed and hitting equals excitement.

  81. Both Robert,

    Whether Bobby “lost it” or never had it to begin with, it simply matters more now than it did before.

    For many of the division titles I think we were vastly better than our competition and thus even poor management (in-game) wasn’t going to hurt us enough to cost us a playoff spot. Also, its hard to mismanage Glavine-Maddux-Smoltz of the mid 90’s. Our competition was weaker, and even more poorly managed than us more often than not.

    I do think Bobby has gotten worse over the years, but that may just be perceptions based on not having teams good enough to mask it. Either way, the effects of Bobby’s in-game management are more apparent than they used to be.

    As you get later in time where our dominance was no longer predicated on an out of this world pitching staff I think Bobby’s lineup and bullpen management have become a more critical component on which the Braves success depends.

  82. Put me down for: it’s impossible to have that much success without a good idea of what you are doing.

  83. I think Bobby is a good manager or he wouldn’t have been around as long as he has, but he has also had the benefits of some very good teams. I liken him to Phil Jackson. He probably is a really great coach, but look at the teams he’s coached for and I think a lot of other good coaches would have had that level of success.

    What bugs me the most about Bobby is the fact that he has some habits which are nearly so predictable as to verge on insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result). Maybe they’ve been there all the time and I never noticed them when we were winning 95-100 games a year. But the last few years, they are like a giant neon sign blinking and fans like the ones on this board are the only ones who notice an issue:

    1) Leaving someone in not just a batter past when they’ve obviously lost their effectiveness, but 3-4 batters past, including relievers.

    2) Getting fixated on 1-2 guys in the bullpen and throwing them until their arms literally give out (as opposed to #5 below).

    3) Throwing rookie relievers into the most pressure filled spots imaginable for their debuts (Devine, Stockman, etc.) and then apparently holding it against them forever when they don’t get out of the jam.

    4) Inexplicable lineups where hitters struggling (ex. Frenchy) continue to maintain their positions in the lineup while others get relegated to the 8 hole (ex., Blanco) when they could probably be more productive elsehwere.

    5) Becoming fixated with the lefty/righty matchups to the point of using the everyone in the bullpen, usually to our detriment (or sending them out to left field for a breather).

    6) Excessive bunting in situations where we aren’t trying to manufacture just one run to get a tie or a win, but are down by several runs and need to get a rally started.

    I’m sure others could add more. Bobby has done some great things for this team over the past 2 decades and for that I am thankful, but to be left speechless by his decisions in almost every game starts to get old. But then again, that’s why I’m a finance guy and he is a MLB manager.

  84. I’m not saying Bobby is always incompetent. And I’m not saying that in-game management is the only aspect of being an MLB manager. I think Bobby is exceptionally great at just about everything except in-game management decisions. With regard to those types of decisions, I am only saying Bobby isn’t that good. Over the course of a season he may make many more good managerial decisions than bad ones, its just that with weaker teams, the bad ones hurt you more than with good teams. What I think is that he hasn’t changed his managerial style, or his in-game philosophies to accommodate for changes in the makeup of the ballclub quickly enough. Eventually he gets there, but he’s a bit slow to respond.

    He isn’t the worst by any stretch, we’re just not good enough to cover for his mistakes like we used to be.

  85. Jimy Williams is known around baseball as one of the best teachers around. Ned Yost, Freddie Gonzalez…seem to be pretty good managers. Don Baylor was the best hitting coach. Remember when Merv Rettenmun or whatever his name was, was going to turn AJones into a great hitter?….I guess Bobby has lost some real good coaches over the years.

    Is Marcus Giles at the age of 30 completely out of baseball?

  86. Sansho,

    The problem is the RF/RA says this team is one thing at home and another on the road. So, which is the real Braves? It’s just as likely to be the team on the road as the team at home. I don’t think it’s automatic that your record equals run differential–look at the D-backs last year.

  87. I’d like to see Jimy Williams in the Braves’ dugout again. I think he and Pat Corrales complemented Bobby in ways that, perhaps, we fans are just now realizing.

  88. If I’m not mistaken I think the D-backs led the league in one run wins and we led the league in one run loses. Could be mistaken, but if that’s true I think that is a testament to Bob Melvin and his staff and it does not bode well for Bobby and his staff.

  89. Because it’s been proven that one run games are good judgment of managerial ability.

    Snark, Snark….

  90. Let’s put Bob Melvin right in the Hall of Fame for his ability to win one-run games for one season.

  91. No, but when there is a consistent pattern you have to ask what is the reason. Luck is not an acceptable explanation.

  92. Bob Melvin was terrible in Seattle. Or was the talent he had to work with? OR maybe he was just learning in Seattle? Who knows…

    Terry Francona was not that bad in Philly…it’s just that is was Philly. Now he walks on water in Boston.

  93. I vote our biggest need that we will realistically fill iis a left fielder that can leadoff.

  94. I never thought I’d live long enough to read a “If only Bob Melvin were our manager” argument.

  95. -127 – Yeah, I was thinking we wait till the next road trip, then all Collins, all the time.

  96. I think Jimmy Leyland will resign if the Tigers don’t improve. He has been known to quit when he isn’t winning (Colorado).

    So Mac you are saying Francona is a yes man?

  97. ya with a career 290 average and 250 stolen bases and last year when the astros called him up he only hit 358 with a 412 obp…sounds like its worth a shot?

  98. You can’t just manage by the book and you can’t just manage by feel. You’ve got to combine them and know when to break from the book. Its in that small area where I think Bobby makes mistakes. He does not make good decisions about whether or not to break from the book. The reason I think he does is is because he is slow to make adjustments based on recent past results. The guy has thousands of games of baseball experience, so he knows and understands the trends, but an individual season is a small enough sample size for the trends to fail to mature into reality. I feel like Bobby is to into his book to recognize the writing on the wall about his teams until it’s too late.

  99. It seems that should Blanco or Anderson actually reach base. They may have the potential to advance to second and may even score from 2nd on a single…theorhetically.

  100. The worst Anderson could do in the leadoff spot is go 0-for-5. Oh wait, Escobar just did that. Not comparing the two at all, but its worth a shot

  101. well anderson has had consecutively 50, 43, 40 steals in AA and AAA

    and has been caught stealing 65 times in 315 attempts total

    whereas blanco has 28, 32, 23 steals in the last three seasons

    and has been caught stealing 86 times in 268 attempts total

  102. Well, Anderson would be a more successful base stealer, but Blanco, I think, would be more adept at getting on base.

    Either may be worth a try.

    Yunel is slumping, but that is not a good reason to get him out of the leadoff spot. The reason I would want Blanco (or Anderson) leading off is that I think it would be a better use of his skills without losing much from Yunel, simply moving him down a spot in the order.

  103. I don’t think its a punishment moving from 1st to 2nd in the batting order. Its more strategic than saying Yunel is not good enough to bat leadoff. I just think there are better options.

  104. Blanco over Anderson for leadoff because Gregor has spent this season on this team getting on base 40 percent of the time. And while I don’t necessarily require power in the leadoff spot, Anderson’s swing makes me laugh. He really has no shot of being any good over the course of a season IMO.

  105. If a player has a .340 OBP in the minors (with no power), major league pitchers will knock the bat out of his hands in extended playing time. I don’t want that in the leadoff spot.

  106. Well that was harsh Sansho…but funny. Unfortunately since I am in NY, haven’t been able to see the Anderson guy on TV.

    Having speed at the top is not all about stealing, it is the threat of the steal…speed causes havoc. C’mon we know that from the Furcal days. Now that the steroid era is ended, it is back to 80’s baseball. Look at Jacob Ellsbury for the Red Sox….

  107. I don’t know, I’m not sure how it’s the manager’s fault when the team consistently gets five or six hits in road games. No doubt Bobby is a less than brilliant tactical manager but if the team could score some more runs, he would look like a genius. Sure, he has presumbly made some tactical mistakes that cost them runs, but if you are counting on the manager to win games, I think you have a lot more problems than the manager. I think there are problems with the team that go much deeper than Bobby Cox’s in-game decisions. Basically, you have Chipper and McCann that are having great seasons, Teixera has struggled, especially against lefties most of the year (although he seems to be coming around–at least against right-handers). Escobar and Johnson are talented, but inexperienced and both are very streaky. Obviously the outfield is producing little. So, it seems to me that what you have is a lineup that is extremely vulnerable to left-handed pitching (especially since even some of the right-handed hitters don’t hit lefties particularly well, Chipper has less power from the right side, and Tex has been abysmal against lefties)with limited production from several positions. The problem, to me, is the players, not the manager, although I acknowledge that Bobby’s approach is poorly suited for the modern game and that he has not handled the bullpen well. I don’t think moving this or that guy around in the batting order or having this or that guy bat leadoff is really going to make much difference. It may just be that the team just isn’t that good. Good teams seem to win regardless of what the manager does.

  108. In Blanco, we have a guy whose only real skill seems to be getting on base, usually with a single or a walk. That skill is wasted a little in the 8th spot, as it is very unlikely that the pitcher, who is hitting behind you 75% of the time is going to bring you around to score.

    I would prefer Blanco to be on with Yunel, Chipper, and Tex coming up.

  109. Totally agree Parish…

    I always thought Bobby was a good regular season manager, good not great, and a horrid postseason manager. His use of the bullpen over the past few years has been below average, to put it nicely.

    I also agree with him leaving slumping hitters in the same spot in the bottom order game after game. I think the player’s manager title has actually hampered Bobby. Francouer should have been given a day off a long time ago.

  110. either way anderson deserves a shot especially since bobby seems pretty fond of trotting greg norton and his lifetime 252 avg and 338 obp to left…why waste the roster spot on anderson if he wont even get a shot

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